Thanks for all the feedback this week. We’ve had several suggestions of different mobile news sites and apps you enjoy, including New York Times, Politico, Huffington Post, Slate, Twitter and News Republic. These are favored for their clean layout and ease of navigation. Continue letting us know which sites you use for news on the go.
Thanks for continuing to give your input on commenting. After citing the Virginian-Pilot’s commenting system as an example on Monday, you shared what you liked – and disliked – about it. Commenters seemed to agree that a “hide” function would be useful on a comment thread, to silence “trolls,” as one person said. But consensus was split on the usefulness of a thumbs up/thumbs down feature.
To learn more about PilotOnline.com‘s commenting system, we talked to Mark Edelen, director of online production at PilotOnline.com, to get a better sense on how that site’s registration system works. Here are some interesting notes from the conversation:
- PilotOnline.com commenters must register with a user name and an email address, which is used to confirm the registration. Once registered, the user goes through a “probationary” period where his comments must be approved by an online producer before being posted. When the user has met a certain number of approved comments, his comments are then automatically posted afterward.
- If a user “misbehaves” by posting inappropriate comments, he then gets switched back to permanent moderation, meaning producers must approve his comments before they’re posted.
- Commenting is allowed on all blogs and columns. It is turned on for news stories at the judgment call of the producers. Most routine crime briefs, for instance, do not allow comments. And some sensitive stories might only allow moderated comments.
- The registration system for the opinion section is a little different because the department wants its commenters to be verified. To comment on the opinion pages, you must register and post with your real name. A verfieid ID, such as a credit card, is also required for registration.
- The Pittsburg Post-Gazette (postgazette.com) is trying out commenting via Facebook. If you’d like to see how it works, check out the site, click on a story and scroll down.
We are reading your comments, sharing them with different teams working on the redesign, and implementing some changes immediately based on what we’re hearing (like adding the full site option to our mobile site).
Coming next week: Managing Editor Michael Stowe talks about breaking news — how we cover it and how it’s displayed on roanoke.com. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.